The leaves appear from about May, after the flowerhead has dried and broken off. There are generally 6 large tongue-shaped leaves spread flat on the ground. The margins are often fringed. Leaves start to die down from about October and the bulb lies dormant during summer.
Brunsvigia orientalis referred to locally as the Konings-kandelaar or Candelabra is a bulbous perennial 40 to 50 centimetres in height. The flowerhead forms a huge sphere, up to 600 mm in diameter, with between 20 to 80 flowers. These are large, 6-tepalled, deep-pink to red and are soon followed by the 3-sided seed capsules.
Birds, including sunbirds, are the chief pollinators. They perch on the sturdy flower stems, receiving a reward of nectar for their pollination activities.
Once the seed begins to develop the flower stalks elongate and the inflorescence dries out. The dry flower stalks snap off and the wind sends the spherical heads tumbling along. The tips of the flowers containing the seeds break off, so spreading them. They are fleshy, with a very short viability period, and germinate immediately. Seeds may even germinate while still on the flowerhead. This strategy allows the seedling a full rainy season to develop sufficiently to withstand its first dry period underground.
Leaves usually appear well after the flowers. Because both the inflorescence and the leaves lose relatively large amounts of moisture, this adaptation prevents large quantities of moisture being lost at any one time, reducing stress on the plants.
Text from: PlantZAfrica.com
Amaryllis belladonna occurs naturally in the South-western Cape and the bulbous perennial produces sweet-scented, trumpet-shaped soft pink flowers on a long stem.
The strap-like leaves are deciduous and are produced after flowering. The leaves remain green throughout the winter period. The leaves produce a starch, which is stored in the bulb. In summer the leaves die back and the bulb becomes dormant. This strange phenomenon of flowering before the leaves appear is known as hysteranthy.
H.coccineus is one of 11 species of Haemanthus and was probably the first flower to be collected from Table Mountain and, probably also the first illustration of a SA flower to appear in a European publication. The illustration was by the Flemish botanis de L’Obel in 1605.
The Paintbrush lily is a perennial geophyte. The bright red flower heads make their appearance from February to April and the flowers are soon followed by translucent, fleshy berries containing 1-3 dark wine-coloured seeds. The berries may be white to pale ordeep pink in colour. Two or three elongated leaves appear after flowering in April and usually last for several months up to October.
The solitary funnel shaped white or white-pink flower appears from grows close to the ground and sweetly scented. The berry-like, finger-length fruits are borne close to the ground during autumn and are fragrant when ripe. When ripe, the fruit walls disintegrate and release numerous, roundish, cream-coloured to reddish seeds. The seeds germinate immediately once released, but for the seedlings to survive, they depend on adequate and timely rainfall. In the western and northwestern Cape, the optimal time for seed release is autumn. he leaves appear in winter, are spiraled and can be either smooth or hairy.
The fruits are much sought after for their fragrance and purported medicinal properties. In the past the dried fruits were often used to scent handkerchiefs and linen cupboards. Today the edible fruits of G. afra are still used to make kukumakranka brandy, a popular remedy for colic and indigestion
The vernacular name kukumakranka is said to be derived from the Khoi-San people.